Events were everywhere in 2011. There were big ones and little ones practically bursting off the comic book racks. Each story was trying to convince consumers that it was Important and that it Mattered. What were the best of the best this year? That’s what we’re here to discuss in the Top 10 Events of 2011.
#10 – DC Retro-Active
With a line-wide ‘reboot’ on the horizon, DC looked to the past with their Retro-Active line. Inviting past writers and artists to come back and tell one more story gave longtime fans new tales stuck right in the middle of their favorite runs. It was a nice tip of the hat to nostalgia and it worked very well. Plus, anytime DC wants to bring Norm Breyfogle back to draw Batman is fine by me.
#9 – Infestation
Though the contents of the story didn’t quite live up to the first issue’s cover, Infestation did allow zombies to invade each of IDW’s franchised worlds. We got something special out of this event with Zombie Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Sadly, we never got the visual I was hoping for with Captain Kirk riding in Optimus Prime’s truck cab while Egon and Scarlett shot zombies out the back. Still, seeing how each group dealt with the zombie problem was fun all the same.
#8 – Fear Itself
With its several epilogues and three Point One issues, this was the event that just kept on giving long after you thought it was over. Every Marvel hero found him or herself caught in a war between Odin and his brother. The ongoing struggle of the Worthy and the Mighty with their hammers and Asgardian weaponry rubbed some readers the wrong way, but this Ryan Stegman Fear Itself: Deadpool cover made me forgive the series’ faults.
#7 – Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes
What happens when a group of explorers from the United Federation of Planets meets a group of defenders of the United Planets for the first time? Well, you have Brainiac 5 and Spock put a stop to the obligatory fight scene that springs up. Loaded with references to past Star Trek and Legion of Super-Heroes stories, this still-ongoing series is a blast for fans of both franchises. Plus, Chameleon Boy fights a Gorn. What’s not to love?
#6 – Spider-Island
Giving everyone on the island of Manhattan Spider-Man-esque powers turned out to be an even bigger problem than Peter Parker bargained for. Things got even worse when everyone started turning into actual giant spiders. In a story that could have been lost among things like Madame Web prophecies, the Jackle, and the return of Kaine, ‘Spider-Island’ allowed Peter Parker to outshine his spider based powers and show how he thinks on his feet. Peter will always have more to offer as a hero than just a collection of spider based powers. This story reinforced that fact.
#5 – Archie Meets KISS
Look. Archie is a social butterfly. He’s always out there, making friends with all kinds of people. Rich, middle class, nerdy, jerky, hungry, it doesn’t matter to Archie. One time, he even met the Punisher. So why wouldn’t Archie meet KISS? Throw in a town zombified by a magic spell cast by Veronica, an appearance by Josie, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and you’ve got one fun story. I’m looking forward to seeing where this is going.
#4 – X-Men: Schism
In a story filled with international discord, Sentinels running amok, and a creepy new Hellfire Club, Schism really came down to two guys and their different visions of the future. While Wolverine and Cyclops haven’t gotten along before, this conflict lead to the most brutal one-on-one fight between the two yet and a fracturing of the X-Men. It even allowed for a great verbal low blow from Scott. Best of all, it was very new reader friendly. It allowed folks like me, with our fear of convoluted X-Men continuity, to jump right in and really enjoy ourselves.
#3 – Marvel “Big Shots”
Getting great writers together with great artists may not be a traditional event, but it’s an event all the same. Just getting Greg Rucka to return to mainstream comics after leaving DC was feat enough, but also producing the relaunched Daredevil and having it be as great as it consistently is something to brag about. Bendis and Maleev working on another book is just icing on the cake.
#2 – Flashpoint
Though DC claimed this wasn’t another parallel worlds story, Flashpoint turned out to be the ultimate parallel worlds story. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s great. One of the main things DC did right with this event was they kept it chronologically brief. It took up just four months and it, by definition, existed in its own little world. If you didn’t like the story, you didn’t have to read it. If you loved it, you could buy the entire 61 issues of the story, though most of us fell somewhere in between. Best of all, it had a major twist on the Batman mythos and sowed the seeds for the best event of 2011.
#1 – The New 52
This one changed everything. Continuities were rewritten where editors thought they were lacking before, Wildstorm became a part of the DCU, everyone was made younger, and the Superman wore jeans. Better yet, this got people back into the comic book stores in droves and it got everyone talking. DC became the top selling comic book publisher through Diamond, something it hadn’t been for years. Along with those sales came a a significant increase in revenue. From just that perspective, the New 52 was a success but from its overall industry impact, it was a grand slam.